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Join my free #30dayeftchallenge and boost your self-care

I had the plague (‘flu) over Christmas and New Year and lost the will to take even the most basic self-care steps for days as I wasn’t up to it.

Have been well again for nearly a week and am doing regular Happy Dances at having energy and being able to do things. This renewed appreciation of life has also coincided with my effort to tap daily – I’ve meditated and done (at least a little) yoga daily since 2013 but would normally only tap on myself when feeling pretty dire.

And every time, I’d be amazed at how quickly it helps! There’s something so powerful about VOICING our upsets, even just to ourselves. Then, the concentration of tapping specific points helps stop rumination, getting us back into our bodies and the present moment. And, of course, the fact that we’re working with meridians, tapping acupressure points, means we’re releasing blocked energy.

It might take a minute or two or, if something’s especially upsetting, much longer. But by doing it daily, I’m noticing how much happier I am feeling in general. It’s helping me get out of my own way and be more open to opportunities.

By creating this simple challenge, we’ll tap daily and share #day1 (or whatever day it is for you) and #30dayeftchallenge and, if you want #pain #niggles #anger #grudges #stress #anxiety #worry #block #cranky #gratitudes #sleep #whateveritisyouvetappedonwithoutsharingmorethanfeelsgoodforyou

To give you an example of how I’ll be sharing, today’s tweet will be as simple as:

#30dayeftchallenge #eft #day1 I launched this challenge today and hope you’ll join me – today, I tapped around #health What did you tap on?

I’ll be sharing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and hope this will grow so please share with anyone you think might benefit.

EFT is a transformative (and simple, and free) tool. I qualified in 2006 and became an advanced practitioner a few years ago. I included some tips around it in my book, 365 Ways to Feel Better and you can access a free video below if you don’t already know how to tap or want a reminder.

I’ll also be answering questions on my social media pages so please connect with me there as anything you’re unsure about is likely to help others, too.

For facebook, my book group (with extra support for people reading the book) is accessible HERE

You can also like my page HERE if you’d like regular updates

I’m on Twitter @wellbeingeve

Instagram @evemenezescunningham

You can find out more about some of the research around EFT, my approach and access a couple of interviews I did about EFT in general and for trauma for BACP’s trauma conference a few years ago HERE

Hope you find tapping as helpful as I have!

It can be as simple or complex as you want to make it – I’ve shared instructions to the Short Cut for simplicity but a quick Google will bring up loads of resources.  I include EFT as part of some of my coaching if that’s of interest – I’ll also be tagging other EFT practitioners in case they’re more local to you and you want to work face to face.

It’s also worth checking out the Tapping World Summit (HERE) and registering for this free event with loads of big names (created by Nick and Jess Ortner). The world can be your lobster!

Feel share to comment below as well as on social media. I’ll be answering as many questions as possible.

love,

Eve

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Meditating with the MagnifiCat

MeditatingwiththeMagnifiCat

Clients and students often ask me about creating and sustaining a meditative practice when their children are demanding their time, energy and attention.

I recommend making them a part of their practice (being fully present with whatever’s going on). Sometimes, I tell them about how I use Rainbow MagnifiCat’s interruptions during the day to enhance my mindfulness practice. As she looks expectantly for attention, I make my lap available for her, pausing work or whatever (unless I’m with a telephone or online client, obviously) and relax into the Rainbow Appreciation Time, hearing her purr, feeling her fur (and claws and weight) and generally feeling pleasantly present and grounded.

This morning, I realised that this is not (of course) the full story. Most days, I let her out while I do my morning meditation and a little yoga. My eyes frequently open and glance towards the door, checking in case she wants to come in.

This morning, with a lot of pent up energy from her snow avoiding time indoors yesterday, she didn’t want to go out while I meditated. I told her (and her angel) that I’d be meditating and focusing on my experience yet still noticed myself getting very distracted. Lots of opportunities this morning for noticing this (with as much self-compassion and curiosity as I could muster) and gently bringing my mind back to the meditation.

And Rainbow’s a cat. Babies and children (and puppies and goats etc) are far more demanding.

What can you do to make them part of your practice in a way that’s practical for them and you?

As with everything, some days, it’s much easier to be present than others. Many mornings, Rainbow’s so peaceful and quiet on the bed, I do my meditation next to her there before I even brush my teeth.

This morning, I could have easily locked Rainbow out of the room but I wanted to challenge myself to stay focused. (I can almost hear her howl, ‘Mwah hahahaha’ from the other room where she’s been peaceful and still since I finished and put my yoga mat away.)

Children and animals are wonderful at bringing us into the present moment.

This isn’t to say it’s always easy. Just as it’s often easier to be aware of our bodies and what they need when we feel strong, fit and healthy, it’s when we’re in pain that the biggest benefits of being present and really paying attention to what we need can pay off.

Do you include your children and/or animals in your meditative practices?

When is it easiest?

When is it most challenging?

What helps you most?

Feel free to share below.

love,

Eve

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Sphinx benefits

Sphinx

One of my favourite heart openers, Sphinx allows much of the body to remain grounded so the heart can open but in a protected, safe way.

If you want to try it, start by lying on your belly with your head, neck and spine aligned. Maybe consciously release any heartaches and blocks through the heart centre, into the earth, knowing they can be recycled for the benefit of the planet.

Take the elbows so they’re under the shoulders and lift the heart centre and the eyes so you’re looking ahead. Drop the shoulder blades and notice your breath.

As well as helping us lift our mood, Spinx strengthens the spine and abdominal muscles. It’s a gentle back bend so we can really tune into the level that’s right for us at any given time.

Similarly, when it comes to opening your heart off the yoga mat, you can become attuned to the degree of intensity you choose at any time.

love,

Eve

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IF YOU’RE NEW TO YOGA AND DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO THESE POSES, GO TO A YOGA THERAPIST OR INSTRUCTOR. IF YOU’RE NEW TO EXERCISE, CONSULT YOUR GP BEFOREHAND. ALWAYS HONOUR YOUR BODY’S OWN WISDOM

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How do (or might) YOU vote for yourself?

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‘A daily ritual is a way of saying “I am voting for myself. I am taking care of myself. I love myself.”’ ~ Oprah

She went on to say it could be as simple as your first cup of tea of the day.

Since hearing Jon Kabat Zinn talk about mindfulness in London in March 2013, I haven’t missed a first thing in the morning meditation.

One morning, after watching Eat Pray Love again the night before and mentally comparing my prosaic meditation practice to Liz Gilbert’s Hollywood friendly revelations, I decided to swim before meditating. I would have still done it that morning but I wanted to get to the pool before it got hectic.

It was one of my worst swims ever (overcrowded pool) and I realised that while my meditations are not Hollywoodesque, starting each day clearing my energy field, being mindful of my breathing and doing some Metta (loving kindness) as well as asking for guidance is something I now depend on.

After I meditate, I do a little gentle yoga. I go through phases where I do a more dynamic morning yoga practice but, mostly, I just tune into how my body wants to move on any given morning.

Reading this, even I imagine myself waking up all serene, starting the day with a little yoga and meditation. And I know myself!

Some mornings, it’s a pretty quick practice. 20, 30 minutes tops. I’m able to concentrate and focus and it feels great.

More often, it takes much longer. Not because I’m a brilliant meditator but because my mind might be so filled with stressful thoughts, I have to keep bringing my focus back to the practice.

Sometimes, when this takes ages, I get to add extra compassion (when I remember) to the mix instead of beating myself for being a human being and not having a perfectly cultivated mind.

It’s a practice.

With recent research showing that adult meditators’ brains are, on average, 7.5 years younger than non-meditators’ brains, it’s really worth playing with it and finding a form that suits you. It doesn’t have to be first thing in the morning. You know your schedule and lifestyle best.

But it also doesn’t have to be meditation in order to show yourself some self-care, to vote for yourself.

What, when you do it, helps you start the day well?

Maybe it’s a few minutes alone with a cup of tea before life gets hectic. Maybe it’s a run! Maybe it’s writing or painting.

You know yourself best. What works for you?

Feel free to share your favourite daily rituals below.

love,

Eve

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Love and ‘My mom has a saying that behind every successful child is an astonished parent’ ~ Cory Booker

 

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Cory Booker with Trevor Noah (right) on The Daily Show

Wishing all the mothers a Happy Mother’s Day for Sunday – I thought Cory Booker’s mother’s quote was just delightful.

He was being interviewed by Trevor Noah on The Daily Show and appears to still be as humble and service oriented and brave and kind as he has in every other interview I’ve read or seen with him.

Years ago, I remember reading that when he was Mayor of Newark, New Jersey (I felt an affinity as I lived in Newark, Delaware for a year as a kid), someone had contacted him about snowplows being needed and their elderly parents being snowed in. Next thing they knew, the then Mayor was out shovelling the snow himself.

I don’t remember all the details but this man – now Senator and, hopefully (after Hillary and Kirsten Gillibrand? I don’t even get to vote, this is seriously none of my business) a future US President – has literally saved lives. When Jon Stewart interviewed him years ago, I think he was compared to a superhero. He just seems so kind.

In the interview I saw this week, he was doing his best to think of nice things to say about people on opposite sides of the political spectrum.

And then he talked about love, in the widest sense. Easy to say, challenging to do:

‘Love everyone. Love seems like a soft word but I preach against tolerance because that is held up as some kind of ideal in this country, that we tolerate each other. But that’s a cynical state of being that says that if you disappear from the face of the earth, I’m no better or worse off. Love says, “I recognise that you have worth and value and I need you.” There’s an old saying, “If you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to go far, go together… we need each other.”’

I adore this man.

When we feel safe, it’s easier to hold that sense of love for our fellow beings. When we feel threatened, we view the whole world with suspicion. I always tell my yoga students and clients that just as some days we’re physically stronger and more flexible (and other days less so), sometimes, a Metta (loving kindness) meditation can feel amazingly heart expansive and empowering. Other times, it’s just too challenging to send loving kindness to ourselves, let alone people we’re struggling with (who am I kidding – it’s often hardest to send it to ourselves). Love is expansive. Fear makes us contract.

The theme continued in a yoga class I attended today. Sometimes I cover classes for the lovely Emma Turnbull but today I got to enjoy taking her class. She used Deepak Chopra as inspiration re pranayama, asana and meditation and encouraged us to give to everyone we met all week. While this can be an actual gift, Emma suggested kind thoughts and well wishes.

I’m used to doing my morning Metta meditation (sending loving kindness to various people and groups and the world at large) but have, so far, found it both lovely and challenging. First off, it’s so easy to forget. And then (already!) transformative.

Cycling home, popped into the Post Office – crazy long queue and one poor cashier on her own. Normally, I’d have sighed and pulled out my book. Today (also partly inspired by Dorothy Nesbitt and Art Giser :)), I was happy to just stand and be, sending well wishes to all the others in the queue (and the cashier, of course).

This is probably one of those posts where I forget quite quickly after writing but it’s a practice I want to play with more. Of course we’re human and it’s not always possible. But it’s so much more empowering to walk through this world from and expansive, open, loving place.

What helps you feel expansive?

How have you found Metta and similar meditations?

Do you agree with Senator Booker that love is better than mere tolerance?

Feel free to comment below.

love,

Eve x

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How do you feel when you imagine more abundance, success and love?

Iexpandinabundance
Happy Imbolc! This is a great time of year to meditate on renewing energy, creativity, health and strength. It’s also brilliant for beginning to bring goals to fruition.
I’ve been reading Gay Hendrick’s delightful Big Leap and, while I recommend reading his whole book, really wanted to share what he calls his Ultimate Success Mantra for unblocking ourselves.
‘I expand in abundance, success and love every day as I inspire those around me to do the same’.
Gay suggests repeating it aloud and pausing to allow resistance / insights to emerge.
How do you feel when you read the words? When you repeat the words? When you meditate on it?
What would more expansiveness look like for you at the moment?
What would it mean in terms of abundance?
Success?
Love?
How might your opening up to bigger, brighter and better things inspire those around you?
And let’s be realistic. Who might resist these changes in you, encouraging you to stay smaller?
How might you anticipate their reactions and support yourself as you allow yourself to expand in abundance, success and love? 
Feel free to comment below.
love,
Eve x
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How easy do YOU find it to ‘Shake it off’ when something upsetting happens?

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Taylor Swift shakes it off

Resilience is something I’ve been working with for a long time and so I decided to create a separate page for it. You can click here to read more.

When have you felt most resilient?

When have you felt LEAST resilient?

What helped you most?

Feel free to comment below.

Metta, Eve x

 

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Would YOU have your genomes decoded to optimise your health and wellbeing?

i-Genes debate at the Royal Institution of Great Britain
i-Genes debate at the Royal Institution of Great Britain

I was at the Astellas Innovation Debate 2015 this evening and enjoyed hearing TV presenter Jonathan Dimbleby, Minister for Life Sciences George Freeman (standing in the pic), Dr Leroy Hood, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Professor Lionel Tarassenko CBE and Professor Rolf Stahel discuss what sounds like science fiction in a very current (it’s happening already) way.

Dimbleby said that having our genomes decoded may soon be ‘cheaper than a holiday in the sun’ and while the possibilities, not just for cancers and rare diseases (which are being mapped now) but for wellness, are promising, Baroness Kennedy was understandably concerned from an ethical perspective.

Would our data be safe? Would we be targetted by unscrupulous marketers? What might happen if parents had children’s genes decoded only for said children to grow up and feel cheated of that choice for themselves?

Dr Hood described a small but promising study where he’d decoded 107 people who considered themselves ‘well’. He said all were given ‘actionable points’ to enhance their wellbeing that went beyond generic diet, exercise and losing weight advice.

91% showed ‘significant nutritional deficiencies’ and were able to get specific supplements and 68% needed to boost their immune response. ‘They all thought they were well,’ he said, ‘but it improved their lives.’

While applications for disease v wellness measures were debated throughout the evening, a doctor from the audience pointed out that it could potentially minimise side effects if we knew which drugs would work with OUR genes…

Having been told our individual current mobile phones have more power than all of NASA when the first men were put on the moon, the genome programme (and its fruitful collaboration with our NHS) was compared to the US’s space programme a few times.

What do you think? Would you choose to have your genomes decoded? And might it make you worry about potential predispositions or would it be more likely to think you could get away with habits you know are unhealthy?

Do feel free to share your thoughts below.

Metta,

Eve

x

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